Love is Trouble

I don’t know about anyone else but I’m pretty sure I’m kind of young to be a Maid of Honor.

Now, I could understand if I was a bridesmaid or something. That would make sense, honestly. I am really close to my aunt, and I work for her from time-to-time if I need extra cash and she needs extra help. We talk boys, girls, friends, family, school, and so much more. She is more of a mom to me than my own mother, and while that does have it’s benefits – I really never hoped that Maid of Honor was one of them.

The only benefit I get out of this is that I didn’t have to make up an excuse to skip out on the bonfire tonight. I’ve needed a break to catch up on some reading but it seems like every single week Bradley has a party he wants us to go to, or some event we are supposed to attend. The whole thing is exhausting but that’s the sacrifice of love. Bradley sits with me through my Netflix binge nights and I go with him to all these social events.

I see Miley and her new sister Lee playing with the flowers in their baskets in the front rows. Evan has his hands behind his back diagonally from me. He’s a cute kid but clearly disgruntled. The older kids in blended families usually are, I supposed. That’s what everyone told me when my dad remarried.

And when my mom remarried.

And remarried again.

And again three more times…

I think that really the older kids just know how easily things can fall apart. I believe that adults rush into happiness, sometimes. They think that they get it because they were already young, and they already tested the waters, but they don’t have a clue. Teenagers get it so much more than parents and adults are willing to accept. Teenage boys do the romantic stuff. They ask you politely to go out with them, they buy you flowers, they drop notes in your locker, and all those cute things that adults forget to do when they’re older.

The older they are the less they seem to care about expressing their love.

At least Bradley and I have it all figured out.

When the ceremony is over and everyone has journeyed inside for dinner I am waiting to do my speech. Deacon’s youngest brother is ahead of me as his Best Man. I haven’t talked to him. There really isn’t any reason for it other than just not doing it. We had to communicate a little bit for the rehearsal runs and rehearsal dinner, where we talked about the order we’d give speeches. I think in total I’ve said maybe three or four full sentences to him.

“What do you think of this marriage bullshit?” He says pointedly with a cigarette hanging off his fingers. That means his other hand must be fishing for a lighter. Most of my mother’s side of the family smokes so I don’t bother pointing out he can’t smoke inside – he’ll probably do it anyway because he’s twenty-nine and I’m only sixteen. Clearly the adult trumps the kid, right?

Ignoring how he looks at me with a little too much glimmer in his eyes, I answer his question truthfully, having no inhibitions otherwise; “I think that marriage can be sincere.”

Shrugging my shoulders quickly, I decide that I should add my other opinion as well, “Or it can be a hobby.”

“Ain’t it the truth?” As he laughs smoke leaks out the sides of his mouth. Part of me thinks he is going to keep talking but he doesn’t. He just laughs a little more until everyone is instructed to sit down. Soon enough he is rambling on about a bunch of embarrassing things Deacon did as a child and all the ways he tried to be perfect for Priscilla over the last few months.

It’s almost endearing.

— — —

I post pictures of the wedding late Sunday night so that I’ll be the talk of the town – or at least in my group of friends. I secretly can’t wait for people to tell me how beautiful I looked and ask me about reception antics. More than anything, I kind of want to hear Bradley talk about what I’d look like in a white dress – standing next to him at the alter.

I don’t know what it was but when Chad asked me what I thought about marriage, suddenly I wanted it. I wanted to know that I would have that for sure in my future. Finally I think I realize that I want to marry Bradley.

“Did you hear the news?” Someone asks me. I don’t really know who she is off-hand. I know she’s one of my Bradley’s extended family members. A second cousin? A second cousin once removed? She’s the daughter of his grandmother’s sister’s son? I don’t know – she’s been at the last four family reunions, though.

Shaking my head, I assure that I have not heard this news; “Why don’t you just tell me what it is?”

“I’ll show you what it is!” She proclaims as she pulls up her phone and starts tapping on icons. Her fingers move quickly until she hands the device over to me and reveals a picture of none other Bradley kissing…

“ALISON JANE MICHAELS!” I shriek, knowing her route well enough to know that she’s at the end of the hall right now. Everyone hears me. There is no chance of her pretending that she has not. When I make eye contact with her worried face I can see tears in her eyes.

This isn’t her fault, though. Not alone, anyway. I can’t be mad at just her because Bradley had to make that decision too. Instead of getting angry I just wave at her with a look of fury on my face. I’ll deal with them later. For now…

Marriage is definitely bullshit.

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